QED by Tina S. Zhu

I know what everyone’s saying, but I was not scammed by a psychic. To prove that I was not a victim of grand larceny by way of The Incredible Madame Eustacia like Channel 2 News is falsely claiming, I will demonstrate the following: a) that the Incredible Madame Eustacia was not a fraud and that b) despite relying on crowdfunding for next month’s rent, her advice was worth the cost.

Theorem 1: The Incredible Madame Eustacia was not a fraud.

Proof: Proof by contradiction. If Madame Eustacia was a fraud, how could she have correctly predicted that I would get in a serious disagreement with my in-laws over the holidays resulting in shattered rum bottles on the floor, egg whites dribbling over the granite countertops, and no eggnog for New Year’s Eve? In Madame’s own words, she foretold that “the stars hold tumult for you in the near future. Your family and friends will be both the cause and solution of your troubles.” When I came to her after the holidays, she offered me a charm to ward away the negative energy from my sister-in-law’s dislike of bourbon in eggnog for $300. Therefore, she was not simply “a snake-oil saleswoman giving fraudulent advice” that the media has painted her as and did have prophetic powers.

Theorem 2: The Incredible Psychic Madame Eustacia’s advice was worth every penny.

Proof: By induction.

Base Case: The first time I went to see Madame was after I bumped into my ex-girlfriend of two weeks at the gas station. The LEAVE ME ALONE bumper sticker she sold me for $250 to let positive energy into my life worked to keep her from talking to me the next time I saw her pulling into the supermarket in her new girlfriend’s minivan.

Induction Step: Assume Madame Eustacia’s advice was worth the cost every time I visited, for up to n visits. On the (n+1)-st visit, after I saw the Channel 2 exposé claiming she was born and raised in North Carolina and not France, there was a sign posted on her door stating that she was conducting business through email only. Needing advice on what I should do with my upstairs neighbor’s screaming baby, I wrote her an email and she offered to sell me blessed noise-canceling headphones for the low, low price of $1,500. Alas, I did not have enough funds left in my bank account, but if I had, I am certain they would have been effective in warding off the loud noises from upstairs with the help of Madame’s friendly ghosts. Hence, the induction hypothesis would have held for the (n+1)-st visit and her advice was as valuable as was advertised.

Since Theorem 1 and 2 are true, it holds that I was not scammed out of $6,000. I simply exchanged my material wealth for her expertise on energy flow. Thus, I was not a victim of a sophisticated multi-state fraud operation that pulled in millions over a twenty year period from hundreds of people. Channel 2 is the one in the wrong and not me. QED.


Tina S. Zhu is a Californian writer who hasn't written a real proof since her college computer science and math classes. She has fiction in Fireside Magazine and Cossmass Infinities. When she's not hiding among the redwoods, she can be found on Twitter at @tinaszhu.

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower

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